Saving money isn’t easy in this economy but part of God’s financial plan includes more saving and less spending. Here’s how to do it.
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” – 1 Corinthians 16:2
In chapter 16, Paul gives a detailed account of his travels. To read it, we get a sense of how many of the books of the New Testament truly are letters. Much of this chapter contains text that isn’t appearing on the screens of churches across the nation but today’s verse is powerful and easily overlooked. Paul is telling the Corinth church to take up offerings before he arrives. When he arrives he will help them route it to people in Jerusalem. But here’s where it gets good.
Notice that the style of giving that Paul advises isn’t what it is today. He asks the church to not take up a special offering once he arrives. Instead, he commands them to set aside one day per week and give what they can. This isn’t a one-time offering. Instead, it’s an ongoing, disciplined offering. This is an important point for us to consider in our own lives.
Financial prosperity escapes most Americans. The popular refrain that has made its way through the media and into most peoples’ psyche is that it’s simply too hard to live a financially prosperous life anymore. The economy is slow, jobs are scarce, wages are down, and prices for everything are up and that leaves us with no choice but to be a victim of the “new normal” instead of a person or family who thrives in a difficult environment.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”– John 16:33
Do you believe this verse? If you’re a Christian then you know that just as Christ has overcame, you have too and through His power you can be victorious. Those without Christ in their lives have no choice but to view the world economic conditions and resign themselves to the fact that prosperity is exceedingly difficult now but as believers, we can live in financial peace. God commands us to practice good financial stewardship in order to achieve that goal and one way we have to be good stewards is to save. Let’s look at five smart ways to save:
- Save Regularly– Just as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:2, it’s better to save regularly instead of sporadically. If you can set up an automatic transfer, that’s the best way.
- Save Enough– $20 each month won’t get you anywhere. Saving will require sacrifice. Use this calculator to help figure out how much you’ll need to save each month to reach your goal.
- Put it in the right place– Putting your money into a savings account that pays 0.5% interest is safe but it will be difficult to reach your goals. Consider exchange traded funds that pay a healthy dividend for your money. This requires setting up an investment account and probably a financial adviser if you have no experience in this area. (e-mail me and I can give you more information.)
- Pay down debt– Saving gets you nowhere if you’re paying interest on debt. Any savings plan should also include an aggressive plan to pay down debt.
- Tithe- Remember that God will multiply your tithe. When you surrender your finances to Him, you’ll notice that your money multiplies for reasons you don’t understand.
Remember that financial prosperity in God’s eyes is different than in the world’s eyes. It doesn’t mean you’ll be rich but it does mean that your needs will be provided for. Saving is something that we all know we should do but often we find other places to put our money. The time to start is now. Don’t wait any longer to put your financial plan into motion.
As Christians we’re called to live a life that is different from the world. If you’re feeling like God has ignored you or the prosperous life that the Bible speaks of applies to people other than you, you’re missing one key point. In order to receives God’s rewards, the rewards that are so much better than the worlds, you have to live in a way that is different from the world. Once you do, you’ll learn what it means to be victorious. You’ll learn what it means to truly be a Christian. The modern Christian is living a life that only scratches the surface of God’s blessings. For your finances, make big changes and watch the big rewards pour in!